* poor in spirit
* hungry and thirsty for righteousness
* pure in heart
As has been said, these are be attitudes. We are to have these attitudes within us; we are to be before we can do. Many Christians try to do before they be. I know, bad grammar but correct theology.
After the beatitudes, Jesus says we are the salt of the earth and light of the world. This comes from within, from being righteous. But what is the extent of our being righteous? Jesus said, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:20 NIV)
The lack of the proper righteousness has an eternal downside. If the righteousness within us is not above the righteousness of those Jesus called “hypocrites,” then we will never peek inside heaven’s gate.
What is the blessing of the fourth beatitude? “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matt. 5:6 NKJV)
After years of doing, I had a lot to unlearn, for much that I did was not of eternal value. I had to reprogram my brain, my heart, and my spirit to first be. I hungered and thirsted after that righteousness and I was filled.
Scripture tells us many times to be something, such as followers, steadfast, separate, kind, thankful, or patient. Peter recaps God’s command from the Old Testament in 1 Peter 1:16 as the King James puts it, “Be ye holy; for I am holy.” He did not say to do holy but to be holy.
Matthew 5:48 says that we are to be perfect as the Father is perfect. I found a translation of this verse that I love. It’s in the Bible in Basic English, which says, “Be then complete in righteousness, even as your Father in heaven is complete.”
If we cannot be as the Word tells us first to be, then we certainly cannot do what the Word tells us to do and have it be of eternal value.
All our being emanates from the heart, for, as a twist on Proverbs 23:7, as one “thinks in his heart, so be he.”
Are you being or doing?